Tea & Wine tasting @Slow Wine Tour 2017, Beijing

Posted by Lorenzo Barbieri on


Wine is an agricultural product, just like our tea. The leaves and grape all grow from solid,growing in different environment , climate, and after complicated processing they transfer to two kinds of product,different but same important in people’s life.
At the end of last year,in the “slow wine tour in Beijing’ which was host by ‘Slow food Editore’ and ‘slow food great China’, Eastern leaves with SLOW FOOD made an ingenious combination of tea and wine. What marvellous experience may we get? What kinds of tea that the wine need to combine with can get wonderful balance?

The tasting was organized as a tasting workshop for 40 people, selected among tea, wine and food professionals and media. It was like a taste conversation between teas and wines; and as a word conversation between Lorenzo and Vivian, the Estern Leaves founders, Giancarlo Gariglio of Slow Wine and Piero Lin for Slow Food Greater China, who exchanged opinions and feelings with the audience, during and impromptu, ongoing flow of tastes and mutual learning.

Three years ago we used our life-saving to buy a mountain forest in Yunnan: may the risk make us afraid? So we have not been afraid to start with our most complex tea, the Ancient Trees Sheng Pu , like if our terroir asked for a an immediate self-expression … and not only: we decided to let this tea to follow what looked like a very difficult pair, on paper at least: the great Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG Brut Particella 68 2013 by Sorella Bronca, probably one of the most prized Prosecco on the market.
Honestly, to pair the minerality of our shengpu with a Prosecco wine was one of our long time ideas and dreams, exactly as much as to own a forest in the Yunnan mountain; so… we did it, pairing the two straw-coloured ones, that also share yellow flowers, acacia flowers and fruit notes as pears and unripe white peach. Both of them are long lasting in mouth, with a very important aftertaste.

As second pair we had to choose among a bunch of red wines, and here the choice came easier both because of  this special wine tasting notes and history: we picked a Tintilia Lame del Sorbo 2013 by Vinica for our Wild Forest Red Tea, since they both share a common wild land origin. Also the Tintilia by Vinica comes from a forgotten land, recovered by the passionate entrepreneur Rodolfo Gianserra, and both of them are gentle and delicate, with a limited astringency, yet full bodied.

The last act of a gran dinner is dessert, matched and harmonised by a sweet wineAncient Trees White Tea with Malvasia delle Lipari 2016 by Tenuta di Castellaro . Thinking about our audience, the drinkers that had to try the pair for the first time int heir life, the first attribute we had in mind was the consistency, the texture, the richness of the liquor. But the emotional reason comes from a personal memories: nothing like a sweet sicilian wine reminds Lorenzo about when he was once 19 years old, and drank his first passito one night in late June, on a terrace overlooking the blue Catania sea. experiencing feelings he can’t forget.
After this we can speak about their texture, the tasting notes that are the most complete summary of their own terroir – like honey, like bees that fetch any single taste from the under forest -; and even about their surprisingly similar production technique, in both the grape and tea leaves drying process; but no, everything brings us to the deeper feeling of where we first drunk these two incredible fruit of the soil, and of our soul.


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